Home » Special Writer’s Event

Special Writer’s Event

Writer's EventThe Books to Benefit Writer’s Event on Saturday, June 24th, featured a panel of local published authors and illustrators who shared insights about the publishing process. Included in the panel were:

Dewhitt Bingham

Dewhitt was born and raised in Festus, Missouri, 25 miles south of St. Louis. After graduating from Festus Senior High School, he attended Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri where he majored in Criminal Justice. Bingham subsequently earned a Master of Applied Science in Criminal Justice at Illinois State University.

Bingham’s experience in the Criminal Justice System is extensive: serving as a McLean County probation office for 30 years and teaching Criminal Justice classes at Heartland Community College for 20 years, where in 2014, he received the Adjunct Faculty of the Year award.

Committed to make a positive impact in the community, Bingham takes his expertise to next level. For 22 years he has served as a board of director for YouthBuild McLean County. He has also served as a church elder at Integrity Deliverance Ministry for 20 years.

Motivated to change the cycle of deadly killings between African American men and the police, Bingham’s book Hope Deferred Makes the Heart Sick: But When the Desire Comes It Is A Tree Of Life  draws upon his professional experience. Bingham argues a lack of hope is responsible for this deadly cycle in America. Bingham helps these groups challenge stereotypes and learn new behaviors, believing with hope, all things are possible.

Bingham is the proud father of two beautiful twins, Whitney and Dewhitt II and grandfather to Juliana.

Joe Chianakas

Joe Chianakas always aspired to be an author. Growing up on R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike, he wrote short horror stories when he was in junior high. Stephen King consumed his high school years, and he fell “hard” in love with reading —  enough to major in English. Chianakas taught high school English for a decade and has been an educator for sixteen years, the last six as a college professor at Illinois Central College. In 2015, he won the teacher-of-the-year award.

As fan of horror, Chianakas loves long walks through graveyards, preferably late at night. He loves TV shows like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, and will turn anyone who spoils the outcomes into victims in his next novel.

Rabbit in Red was voted best horror book of 2016 by SIBA (Summer Indie Book Awards). Chianakas is the first U.S. author to have his fiction book included in Horror Block, a monthly subscription service for horror fans.  His second book in the series, Burn the Rabbit, is now available. The final book in the series, Bury the Rabbit, releases this fall.

Visit Chianakas on Facebook, or view his website for more information.

Dawn Malone

Dawn Malone is the author of two middle-grade novels, Bingo Summer and The Upside of Down. Her essays, articles and short fiction have also appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, Take Time for Kids edition, Highlights for Children, Pockets, the Wisconsin State Journal, and other publications. When she’s not writing, she substitute teaches and leads summer writing workshops for junior high students at Heartland Community College. She lives in Chenoa. Visit her website to learn more.

Amy Orwig

Amy Orwig has been working as a freelance artist since she was in high school, when she was asked to design a poster for a women’s group at her church.  Amy has always found joy in all artistic endeavors, and has especially enjoyed illustrating.  She plans to do more illustrating in the future.  Amy received her Bachelor of Science degree in Fine Art from Illinois State University.  She resides in central Illinois with her husband, two children, three cats, and a dog.  You can find her on Facebook.

Sue Rovens

Sue Rovens is a suspense/horror indie author who is an active member of the Chicago Writers Association. Her two novels, Badfish and Track 9, are available in both paperback and Kindle formats. A third novel is being processed in her head…with the hope that this year’s NaNoWriMo (2017) will see the first draft of this tale.

When not working on writing, Sue collects antique advertising, clocks and radios, watching movies, reading, and cheese. She also runs, slowly…geese have been known to out-lap her.

Visit Sue’s website for more information.